Free Event – Enjoy when German Wines meet Asian Cuisine May 9

Vancouver is blessed with a wide range of Asian cuisine, but what kind of wines do you pair with these dishes?  Have you tried German wine?  The BC Liquor stores want to help you find the wines to match the food, and have a free consumer event for you on Saturday May, 9 at the Cambie Signature liquor store.  Details are below.  Enjoy!

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sushi

sushi

Vancouver, BC – German wines will share the spotlight with Asian foods in BC Liquor Stores throughout the month of May, 2015. 60 stores will feature lively displays of a select 12 German wines, including a sparkling Riesling and a Dornfelder Pinot Noir. Customers can pick up their complimentary recipe booklet at all participating stores and a FREE consumer event will kick-off the promotion featuring the Asian foods of Vancouver’s own Stephen Wong – wine writer and chef extraordinaire.

The promotion showcases a wide assortment of Germans wines, giving consumers an opportunity to learn about the diversity of the German wine offering and how well they pair with Asian cuisines. A brochure has been developed which will be on display in all 60 participating stores, offering food pairing suggestions for the participating wines, along with four excellent Asian recipes; Pakoras, California Sushi Roll, Seafood Laksa and Szechuan Pork.

At the consumer event on Saturday, May 9, 2015, consumers can try samples, at no charge, of all 12 featured German wines paired with gourmet Chinese foods, hand-crafted by Chef (and acclaimed wine writer) Stephen Wong. Accredited Sommeliers will present the wines on rotation throughout the event, paired with the following Asian Appetizers:

  • Pork Potstickers with mildly spicy soy vinegar dip
  • BBQ Duck Roll with cucumber jicama & carrots with orange hoisin

FREE CONSUMER EVENT

Cambie and 39th Signature BC Liquor Store (Cambie Kitchen) Vancouver, BC
Saturday, May 9, 2015
3 – 6 pm
German wines are generally heralded as great food friendly wines. This is a very bold statement, but most sommeliers and other food and wine professionals will agree. British Columbia, being the multi-ethnic province that it is, hosts a wide array of cuisines that virtually reach out for German wines. The not-really secret here is the variety in styles (dry to sweet, sparkling or still), grape varieties (Riesling and Pinot Noir, to name the top ones of either white or red) and the distinct levels of richness (light to full, to honey-like) plus, based on the cooler climate, the wines generally have a good amount of acidity (considered vital for a great food wine) and lower levels of alcohol than warmer climate peers.

Featured Wines

  1. LINGENFELDER RIESLING

    LINGENFELDER RIESLING

    DR. LOOSEN SPARKLING RIESLING 158501 $ 16.79

  2. HEITLINGER ‘SMOOTH LEAF’ PINOT BLANC 223487 $ 15.69
  3. BREE RIESLING 210807 $ 14.39
  4. CLEAN SLATE RIESLING 160127 $ 13.49
  5. LANDLUST RIESLING 509430 $ 12.99
  6. SELBACH RIESLING 23242 $ 15.69
  7. GUNDERLOCH FRITZ RIESLING 320135 $ 15.69
  8. LINGENFELDER RIESLING 568634 $ 18.49
  9. DR. VON BASSERMANN JORDAN RIESLING 547489 $ 25.29
  10. DR. PAULY BERGWEILER RIESLING 141218 $ 17.69
  11. ST. URBANS HOF RIESLING 597997 $ 21.79
  12. BLACK TOWER DORNFELDER PINOT NOIR 580118 $ 10.29

Free Dim Sum Paired with Wines of Germany Through BCLDB

German wines and asian flavours

German wines and asian flavours

German Dim Sum Event at Cambie Kitchen May 10th and
Asian Foods Featured with German Wines in BC Liquor Stores this May!  Check out these exciting free consumer events pairing Chinese Dim Sum with German wines!  Press release below.

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Vancouver, BC – German wines will share the spotlight with Asian foods in BC Liquor Stores from May 6 to June 2, 2014. 60 stores will feature lively displays of a select 12 German wines, all pairing perfectly with the myriad flavours of Asian cuisines. A FREE consumer event will kick-off the promotion, doling out delectable dim sum with Deutsches wien.

What could be more delicious than a crisp, refreshing German Riesling to balance with traditional Chinese Dim Sum flavours? This is what Wines of Germany had in mind when they announced their sponsorship of a month-long thematic within 60 BC Liquor Stores throughout the month of May. German wine Portfolio Manager Barbara Philip selected the 12 wines that will participate in the promotion and local sommelier Mireille Sauvé developed, in conjunction with Wines of Germany, a detailed brochure which will be distributed free of charge at all participating locations. The brochure offers professional tasting notes to guide consumers to their preferred wine style, as well as detailed food pairing suggestions which showcase exclusively the cuisines of Asian regions.

At the consumer event on Saturday, May 10, 2014, consumers can try samples, at no charge, of all 12 featured German wines paired with authentic Chinese dim sum from Vancouver’s Chinatown eatery, Floata Seafood Restaurant. Steamer baskets will be stacked high, filled with Ha gow and sui mai, which visitors can try with all 12 featured wines, presented by accredited Sommeliers on rotation throughout the event. Details for the event are as follow:

FREE CONSUMER EVENT

Cambie and 39th Signature BC Liquor Store (Cambie Kitchen)
Saturday, May 10, 2014
3 – 6 pm

Wines of Germany are generally heralded as great food friendly wines. This is a very bold statement, but most sommeliers and other food and wine professionals will agree. British Columbia, being the multi-ethnic province that it is, hosts a wide array of cuisines that virtually reach out for German wines. The not-really secret here is the variety in styles (dry to sweet, sparkling or still), grape varieties (Riesling and Pinot Noir, to name the top ones of either white or red) and the distinct levels of richness (light to full, to honey-like) plus, based on the cooler climate, the wines generally have a good amount of acidity (considered vital for a great food wine) and lower levels of alcohol than warmer climate peers.

“If you don’t love German wines, you just have not yet found the right one for you.”
Visit BC Liquor Stores this April to find your Perfect Pairings.

Upcoming Food and Wine Event – Thai Food & German Wines

Maenam Restaurant Thai curry

Do you ever wonder about how to pair spicy Asian dishes with wine?  Here is your chance to try a pairing of Thai food from Maenam with the German wines of Schloss Reinhartshausen. Here is the announcement and menu.  Get tickets soon before they quickly sell out.

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The best Thai food is a perfect balance of 4 taste sensations: hot, sour, sweet, and salty: perfect for Schloss Reinhartshausen’s balanced and finessed wines. Taste how these mouth-watering, luxurious wines compliment Maenam’s aromatic and spicy cuisine.

The pairings.

  • Scallop Ceviche
    Live jumbo scallops from Sawmill bay, nahm jim sauce, ikura, lemongrass and coriander
    2009 Schloss Reinhartshausen Dry Riesling
  • Pork Satay with Pineapple Peanut Sauce
    Slopping Hills pork, satay marinade, cucumber relish
    2007 Schloss Reinhartshausen Spatlese
  • Hot and Sour Soup of Holy basil
    Clean flavours of holy basil and fresh seafood, typical soup of Thailand seaside
    2009 Schloss Reinhartshausen The Prinz von Preussen
  • Panaeng Curry of Grilled beef Chuck
    Rich and smoky flavours of the beef braised into the panaeng curry, one of our favourite variation of this popular classic
    2003 Schloss Reinhartshausen AUSLESE HATTENHEIMER WISSELBRUNNEN
  • Chanterelle and Baby Corn Stir Fry with Wood Ear mushrooms and young ginger
    Fresh BC Chanterelles with fresh Baby corn and wood ear mushroom. Earthy and aromatic
    2006 Schloss Reinhartshausen Pinot Noir

Where, When, and How to Get Tickets

Maenam, 1938 West 4th Avenue.
September 27, 2011 6:30 P.M.
One seating only, space is very limited.
$75 per person.
For the complete menu and to buy tickets, click here.

More Wineries to Check at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival #VPIWF

As I mentioned in my earlier blog article, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, has a PDF brochure now available. It  has a listing of all the wineries attending this year. I started to point out some wineries to visit at the International Festival tasting, but needed this second article to finish off the list.  I already covered Spain, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, and BC.  Although I may not mention each winery listed, I still suggest trying them as you may find a wine you love.

Wines from Germany

Germany is well-known for their rieslings.  In their Qualitätswein mit Prädikat rating system. You have:

  • Kabinett
  • Spätlese
  • Auslese
  • Beerenauslese
  • Trockenbeerenauslese and
  • Eiswein

With increasing level of sweetness.  But don’t forget that Germany also produces wines from Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir,  Scheurebe, Bacchus, and Gewürztraminer (and more). Bürgerspital Estate would be one winery to try as they do have a wide range of varietal wines to try.  It is also amazing to consider how steep the slopes are where they grow their grapes; check out the picture I included from their website. Schloss Schonborn is another premium winery, has a wide range, and a sparkling wine.

Wines from Italy

In Italy, the first in the list is Antinori.  This is a large, well-known, and regarded winery, that has it’s winery in Italy, but also wineries in California and Washington state.  Their innovations played a large part in the “Super-Tuscan” revolution of the 1970s. They are well-known for their launch of Tignanello, a barrique-aged wine from the Tignanello vineyard that contained not only Sangiovese, but also Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which meant that it was ineligible for the Chianti Classico appellation.  This wine, plus Sassicaia from another Tuscan winery, helped to bring about the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) classification in Italy. Needless to say, if they are pouring Tignanello, you should try it.

Accordini Igino is from the Veneto region (NorthEast) of Italy, famous for Valpolicella and Amarone. If you have never tried an Amarone, you should be in for a treat.  Amarone is a rich, dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. The drying process concentrates the remaining sugars and flavors in the grapes to produce a full-bodied wine with lots of flavour. Consider an Amarone for a special dinner.

Beni di Batasiolo is from the Piedmont (NorthWest) corner of Italy.  Beni di Batasiolo is quite well-known for their off-dry Moscato d’Asti, but they do have a wide range of red and white wines.  On the red side, we may be treated to a Barolo, Barbaresco, or Barbera d’Alba.

Ca’ del Bosco is a winery from the Lombardi region of Italy. They are a relatively new winery, who is on the leading edge of the exciting new wave of Italian wine producers, making top-quality sparkling and still wines.  I checked their website and they do have quite a range of sparkling wines, that I am looking forward to tasting.

Wines from New Zealand

New Zealand and BC are quite similar.  We both have been producing wines from the noble grapes starting the 1970s.  We are both also cool-climate wine producers, and I think make some very nice Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Astrolabe, Giesen Wine Estate, Man O’War Vineyards, Mud House Wines, and Sacred Hill Wines are wineries that you may not have heard of, but they all are very good producers.  Try Astrolabe‘s Sauvignon Blanc . I can recommend the Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008. When I tried it last year it had a range of smoky, cherry, and leafy aromas. Wild flavours on your palate with cherry, oak and strawberry flavours.  Also try Mud House’s Pinot Gris.  I also recommend trying the Giesen “The Brothers” Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008. Again from a past tasting, it had lots of herbal and gooseberry aroma. Bracing acidity with green flavours.

In August 2010, I was able to meet with Man O’ War winemaker, Mr. Duncan McTavish. At that time I recommended his Man O’ War Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 and his red blend made with Merlot / Cabernet / Franc / Malbec 2008.  The winery also has a premium level of wines called their Black label wines.  They are named after great battleships or classes of battleships.  Hopefully Duncan will be bringing his  Valhalla Chardonnay, Dreadnought Syrah, and Ironclad Bordeaux blend. Read my MyWinePal Meets Man O’ War article here.

Wines from Portugal

The G7 Wines of Portugal group visited Vancouver a few months ago, introducing us to the still white and red wines of Portugal, and of course their wonderful port.  Aveleda has a variety of labels: Casal Garcia, Aveleda Fonte, Quinta da Aveleda, Aveleda Alvarinho, Charamba, Follies and Adega Velha. You may be most familiar with their Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, “green wine”.  Vinho Verde, comes both as a red and a white wine, but I think only white wines have reached BC.  Vinho Verde is a very refreshing and versatile white wine that has a bit of effervescence to it. Try it with some seafood. They also have a Follies line of wines. I was fortunate to taste their Follies Cabernet Sauvignon / Touriga Nacional (30/70%) 2008 (~$16). It was one of my favorite wines from the G7 tasting. Violets, black fruit, spice and mint aromas. Full bodied. Good fruit / tannins balance. Purple fruit flavour with a dry tannic finish.

Quinta do Crasto is well-known for their ports here, and will hopefully show us their range of still red wines. There are a few of their red wines currently available through the BCLDB, but there are many more to show. Their single varietal Touriga Nacional and their Touriga Roriz should be interesting to taste.  These are two of the indigenous grapes to Portugal that go into the blend for port. The most expensive ports are primarily made from Touriga Nacional. It has aromas and flavours of violets, blueberries, black fruits, and spice. A grape that produces a very full-bodied wine. Touriga Roriz is the most widely grown grape in Portugal.  It has cherry, jam, blackberry and spice on the nose. The grape has high tannins, and can age for a long time. Quinta do Vale Dona Maria is another producer of both port and still red wines to check out at the festival. Symington, Fonseca Guimaraens and Taylor Fladgate are famous port producers.  You should visit all of them, but maybe wait toward the end of your tasting session as these ports could overpower your palate for white and red still wines.

Wines from South Africa

South African wines are a bit of Old World and New World style put together.  People tend to have strong feelings about South African wines, either for or against.  Many of their wines are in my opinion built for drinking together with food.  We are lucky to have some premium South African producers at the Festival.  Boekenhoutskloof produces some great red wines from entry level to premium.  On the entry level they have The Wolf Trap, which is a blend containing syrah, mourvedre, and viognier. You get spice, structure, and perfume from these three grapes respectively.  On the premium, hopefully we will have a chance to try their Boekenhoutskloof Collection Syrah.  On the label you will notice 7 deck chairs, which I was told represents each one of the winery principals. It is quite a process to produce this wine which is fermented with native yeasts.  Here is the description from BHK’s website:

“In 2008 the fruit was harvested over an one week period starting on February 25st. The complexity of this wine also benefits from the diversity in grape maturity from the different picks. The fruit is kept in the cold room overnight before it gets sorted and crushed into concrete fermenter. A small percentage of whole bunches were put into the bottom of the tank of some batches to get a slight effect of carbonic maceration. After 4 days of cold soaking, the fermentation starts by only using native yeasts. The primary fermentation is done within two and a half weeks with the temperature that peaks at around 29°C. During the fermentation the wine gets a delestage 2 – 3 times per day. Pigeage was never done on this Syrah. It also received a postfermentation maceration for another week before being pressed to 2nd filled barrels to undergo MLF. After 18 months in barrel the wine gets a light egg-white fining and racking before its final 9 months in oak.”

Graham Beck Wines produce a wide range of wines, from sparkling to dessert to white, rose, and red wine.  Graham Beck also has a social conscience and opened the Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre near Madeba in Robertson. Part of an extensive and innovative social development program, the centre aims to facilitate skills development for the long term upliftment of the farming community in the Breede River Valley.  They also are supporters of the environment. You can read about Graham Beck’s Biodiversity drive here. I have enjoyed their Game Reserve Shiraz, Game Reserve Chenin Blanc, and their Méthode Cap Classique Brut NV sparkling wine in the past.  Glen Carlou‘s Syrah and Chardonnay has won many awards from around the world.  Their Syrah 2004 was awarded John Platter’s Wine of the Year in 2006.  Their wine is reasonably priced, is a general listing in the BCLDB, and in my opinion a great deal.

Wines from the USA

There are plenty of wonderful wines from the USA. From Oregon there is the solid King Estate.  They are well known for their excellent Pinot Noir, but I also really like them for their Pinot Gris.  For Washington State, you will want to try Columbia Crest.  The Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, was Wine Spectator’s No. 1 Wine in the World for 2009. Also I’ve tried their H3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and really enjoyed it (Horse Heaven Hills = H3).   There are several California wineries to choose from.  If you like big, jammy Zinfandels, I would expect to see the wide range that are produced by RavenswoodCaymus Winery and Clos Du Val are two cult level wineries for Sauvignon Blanc. Another good producer of Cabernet Sauvignon at a lower price point is Louis M MartiniRodney Strong (both their white and red wines are excellent), Robert Mondavi, and Stag’s Leap are also excellent producers of wine.  Give them each a try.

I could keep going on about all these wineries, but I think I’ll stop with this.  If you have any favorite wineries, please let me know, and go out and enjoy the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival!!!

GERMANY ITALY
Balthasar Ress Antinori
Bürgerspital Estate Azienda Vitivinicola
Deinhard Accordini Igino
Henkell Badia a Coltibuono
Schloss Reinhartshausen Bastianich / La Mozza
Schloss Schonborn Beni di Batasiolo
St. Urbans-Hof Fontanafredda
Mionetto
Pasqua
GREECE Rocca Delle Macìe
Boutari Tenuta Sant’Antonio
Santa Margherita /
Ca’ del Bosco
ISRAEL Tedeschi
Galil Mountain Winery /
Yarden
NEW ZEALAND
PORTUGAL Astrolabe
Aveleda Giesen Wine Estate
Blandy’s Madeira Kim Crawford Wines
Fonseca Guimaraens Man O’War Vineyards
Quinta do Crasto Mud House Wines
Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Oyster Bay Wines
Sogrape Vinhos Sacred Hill Wines
Symington – Dow’s Port Stoneleigh
Symington – Graham’s Port
Taylor Fladgate / Croft
USA
CALIFORNIA
SOUTH AFRICA Bonterra Vineyards
Boekenhoutskloof Caymus Winery
Durbanville Hills Clos Du Val
Graham Beck Wines Delicato Family Vineyards
KWV Wines Francis Ford Coppola
Presents LLC
Nederburg
Glen Carlou
J. Lohr Vineyards
& Wines
Louis M Martini
Miner Family Vineyards
OREGON Quady Winery
King Estate Ravenswood Winery
Ridge Vineyards
Robert Mondavi Winery
WASHINGTON Rodney Strong Vineyards
Columbia Crest Signorello Estate /
Hedges Family Estates / Edge Winery / Fuse Wines
Snoqualmie Vineyards Stags’ Leap
Trefethen Family
Vineyards
Truchard Vineyards
Wente Vineyards

Here is the download link for the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival brochure.  Enjoy!

Boekenhoutskloof

IVSA New Products Salon – Wines of Note

Today was the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) New Product Salon tasting to the wine Trade in Vancouver, BC. It was a very full event with at least 50 tables from what I could see through the crowds. And consider that at each table, they would be pouring at least 6 different NEW wines, there was at least 300 wines to sample today! Some of the wines are wines that are already in the store, but what is new is the vintage, e.g. a 2008 sauvignon blanc coming out.

I always enjoy attending the IVSA, in part to meet other Trade people, I tweet with, but also to find new and interesting wines. So for the rest of this week’s blog, I’d like to list a few white and red wines that I enjoyed. The wines come from all different price ranges.

Some nice whites:
Rudolf Muller Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2008 (Germany). This riesling had a light lime nose. Medium sweet but good acidity to balance it and a red apple flavour. $16.99
Sacred Hill Pinot Gris 2008 (Marlborough – New Zealand). Light lemon in colour, with lychee and pear aromas. Round mouthfeel. Off dry with lychee and apple flavours $19.99 (spec)
Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Marlborough – New Zealand). I was told that this winery is a joint venture with Antinori from Italy. The wine had a light herbal nose. Halepeno pepper and herbal flavours. Medium acidity. Restrained. Quite nice. $28.99 (spec)
Torresella Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT (Italy). This pinot grigio had light peach, apricot and mineral aromas. Light effervescense. Apricot and apple flavours. $14.99 (spec)
Miner Family Vineyards “Napa Valley” Chardonnay 2007 (California). Vanilla and pineapple on the nose. Toasty oak, pineapple and spice on the palate. Round mouthfeel. $39.95 (spec)

Some nice reds:
Ata Rangi ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir 2008 (Waiparapa – New Zealand). Light cherry colour. Raspberry aroma. Red cherry and raspberry flavours. Soft tannins. Very elegant. $27.99 (spec)
Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir (Burgundy – France). Light cherry and vanilla on the nose. Cherry flavour builds in your mouth with a bit of aeration. Also some flowers and apple flavours. $21.99 (spec)
Belle Gios Meiomi 2007 (California). This one is a pinot noir. Light garnet in colour. Light red currant and chocolate aromas. Nice cherry, raspberry and vanilla flavours, and balanced tannins. $33.99 (spec)
Row Eleven Santa Maria Pinot Noir 2005 (California). Medium garnet colour. Cherry and smoke on the nose. Cherry, vanilla and raspberry flavours. Dry tannins with a long finish. A premium wine! $46.99
Kenwood Vineyards Yulupa Old Vine Zinfandel 2007 (California). Medium garnet in colour. Nice raspberry jammy nose. Lots of raspberry fruit flavour. Medium tannins. A deal. $19.49
Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California). Deep purple in the glass. Capsicum and cherry aromas. Tar and cherry on the palate, with firm tannins. $34.99
Farnese Vini Primitivo Puglia 2007 (Italy). Primitivo and Zinfandel are the same grape variety, if you didn’t know. This one had nice reddish purple colour in the glass. Light violet and red fruit on the nose. Full ripe red fruit flavours, with soft-medium tannins. Easy to drink and an exceptional price. $9.99 (spec)

An unexpected red wine was the L.A. Cetto Private Reserve Nebbiolo 2003 from the Baja part of California in Mexico! I never knew the Nebbiolo was grown in Mexico. This one had delicious ripe berry flavours, ripe but restrained, and firm tannins, but not to the extent that you would get from an Italian Nebbiolo. Drinkable right now. Sorry I didn’t get the price but I believe it is in the $20 range.

Enjoy!

La Deutsche Vita

What’s new in German wines? That was the question on May 7/09, in Vancouver. The Wines of Germany hosted a Trade event to reintroduce the wine trade to Riesling as well as the less commonly known varietals that make it out to Canada, such as Pinot Noir. We were given an overview by Dr. Steffen Maus, wine writer from Germany, about the main wine regions, some background on the latest vintages and where Germany fits into the global wine scene.

While most people think of sweeter style Rieslings, I found out that more than half of Germany’s wine production is dry white wines. Pinot Noir is a major red varietal in Germany, and is the 3rd largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world. Quite an achievement. Germany produces 3-4 times more Pinot Noir than New Zealand.

As for vintages, 2007 is viewed as the best vintage in the past 15 years. For Reisling, it produced luscious ripe fruit with good acidity. These wines can stand cellar aging. If you prefer a fresher, greener fruit type of Reisling, one to drink now, try the 2008 vintage.

So what were some wines I quite enjoyed?
Bischofliche Weinguter, 2007 Riesling Spatlese. This wine was pale lemon, some stone fruit and peach aroma. Sweet on the palate but still dry.
Weingut Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler, 2007 Riesling. Some rieslings as they age pick up a petrol aroma and flavour. This one had a bit of petrol and flowers on the nose. Round mouthfeel, with petrol citrus and apple flavour. LOTS happening in this glass.
Moselland 2007 Riesling Spatlese. This one had a sweet, lemony, spicy nose. Quite sweet on the palate, but good acid to balance it. Full bodied, with apple and flowery flavours.
Weingut Pfeffingen 2008 Gewurztraminer Spatlese. Gewurztraimer means spicy grape from the town of Traminer in Germany. This one was pale lemon coloured, with a pine needle aroma. Medium sweetness, pine needle flavour, with a lychee finish.
Valckenberg 2007 Gewurztraminer. This gewurztraminer was very aromatic. Lots of lychee aroma. In the mouth it was very round, with spicy, roses, and lychee flavour.

Enjoy!